Translation: Jason Moses
Production: Grace Lu, Anthony Quintessenza
What They Say:
Nancy Schaal Bancroft, the daughter of an Incarnate solider who met an untimely end at the hands of one such Beast Hunter, turns to hunting the hunter herself. But once she catches up with her quarry, she discovers hard truths about the lives of the Incarnates…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
A civil war for unknown reasons raged on in To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts for a yet undisclosed amount of time. From the book’s context, it seems to have been a long time because there are characters that never knew a time without war. But all that’s over now, and the world at large has to find a way to live in peacetime.
The immediate comparisons to the American Civil War are easy to make with northern and southern forces duking it out with each other and with the north winning the war, but the comparisons stop there. This is not a story of slavery, but of post-war syndromes.
To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts captures on a feeling of soldiers losing their sense of meaning after a war is over. They’ve fought for their country (or, in this case, side) and come home to find something completely different from what they left. They fought for their home to have the freedom to be completely different, but recruiters don’t put that on the pamphlet. The Incarnates fought for a world they no longer recognize, and no longer accepts them. How many veterans have come home feeling this exact same thing?
Hank has his own strife, beyond the war’s change on the nation he once knew. His friends, his subordinates, his comrades have lost their humanity as a result of being turned to an Incarnate. They knew it was happening, and they agreed to not let each other kill more people if it were to come to that. Hank’s sole mission is to kill all of the people who he entrusted his own life with, who he fought alongside, who he ate and drank with on the battlefield of war. Because it is better to be killed by a comrade than one of the very people you fought to protect.
I expected, and knew, nothing with To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts, but I turned out with a pretty good comic in the end, probably one of the better ones of the year so far. A tale of what it means to live after war is not only intriguing to me, it’s something I haven’t read / watched much of outside of this manga.
The art is also freaking gorgeous. The monsters here are based off of real life things (rhinoceros, minotaur, some kind of dinosaur??), and the astounding detail that goes into these monsters is absolutely spectacular. The monsters are not only chilling from their psychological story, but their placement in the panel. They not only lord over Hank and Schaal, but the entire psyche of the reader. They send chills up the spine.
Content Grade: A
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A
Released By: Vertical Comics
Release Date: May 17th, 206